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Gouverneur Morris

How Did Gouverneur Morris Die?

Gouverneur Morris was an American statesman who signed the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. He is known as the Penman of the Constitution because he wrote the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Did you know how Gouverneur Morris died? 

Gouverneur Morris, the author of the final draft of the United States Constitution, died of internal injuries after inserting whalebone into his penis to clear a urinary tract blockage.

The Gruesome Self-Inflicted Accident by Gouverneur Morris

After suffering from crippling gout throughout the fall of 1816, the Founding Father’s pain was exacerbated by a urinary tract blockage. Morris then attempted to clear the obstruction with a piece of whalebone as a catheter, a move that should not be attempted at home. 

The failed procedure resulted in additional internal injuries and infection. Morris died on November 6, 1816, in the same room he was born in 64 years before on his family’s estate, Morrisania, in the South Bronx. (Source: History)  

Did Morris Have an Affair?

Morris visited Paris on a business trip in 1789, and President George Washington appointed him to minister to France three years later. During his five years in Paris, Morris witnessed the worst violence of the French Revolution, but he was the only diplomat to remain in the city throughout the Reign of Terror.

His three-year love affair with novelist Comtesse Adélade de Flahaut, who was married to a count 35 years her senior and lived in an apartment inside the Louvre before it was converted into an art museum, was among his French liaisons. Morris had a mistress named Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, a French diplomat who would later sell the Louisiana Purchase to the United States as Napoleon’s foreign minister. (Source: History)  

What Happened to Gouverneur Morris’ Family During the Civil War? 

Morris supported the patriot cause after the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, despite his initial fear of the domination of a riotous mob. This put him on the same side as his half-brother Lewis Morris, who signed the Declaration of Independence.

However, it distinguished him from another half-brother who was a general in the British army, two of his sisters who married Loyalists, and even his Loyalist mother, whom he would not see for the duration of the war. His mother allowed the British to camp at Morrisania, making him homeless. (Source: History)  

Gouverneur Morris Spoke More Frequently than Any Other Delegate To The Constitutional Convention

Morris, a New York native who had lived in Philadelphia for nearly a decade, was a Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention. However, he wrote that he felt in some degree a representative of the entire human race. 

Despite missing an entire month of the proceedings, Morris proved the most eloquent of the delegates. According to Brookhiser, he delivered 173 speeches, surpassing James Wilson’s 168 and James Madison’s 161. Morris was one of the few delegates who stood up and delivered passionate anti-slavery speeches. (Source: History)  

How Did Morris Felt About Slavery? 

Morris spoke openly against slavery on August 8, 1787, according to James Madison, who took notes at the Convention, and stated that it was incongruous to say that a slave was both a man and property at the same time: Morris would never concur in upholding domestic slavery. (Source: History)

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